Talking Objects

Curational Team

An international team of curators is responsible for the curatorial concepts of the planned events and exhibitions in Germany and on the African continent. The overall concept was developed by Isabel Raabe and Mahret Ifeoma Kupka.

© Marina Ackar

Mahret Ifeoma Kupka

Concept & Curator

Dr. Mahret Ifeoma Kupka is an art scholar, freelance writer and, since 2013, Curator of Fashion, Body and Performance at the Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt am Main. In her exhibitions, lectures, texts, and interdisciplinary projects, she addresses the issues of the future, memory culture, representation, and the decolonization of art and cultural practices in Europe and on the African continent. She is a member of the advisory board of the Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland e.V. and spokesperson for the Neue Deutsche Museumsmacher*innen. Mahret Ifeoma Kupka is part of the curatorial team of TALKING OBJECTS LAB.

© Andreas Roth

Isabel Raabe

Concept & Curator

Isabel Raabe is a curator and project developer from Berlin. She studied Contemporary Dance and later cultural management and curated numerous interdisciplinary international art and cultural projects. She is interested in curatorial and artistic strategies that deconstruct Western perspectives and traditions of thought. She recently initiated RomArchive - Digital Archive of the Roma, funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation, which won the European Heritage Award 2019 and the Grimme Online Award 2020. Isabel Raabe initiated the project TALKING OBJECTS which consists of the TALKING OBJECTS LAB and the TALKING OBJECTS ARCHIVE, a digital archive for decolonial knowledge production which is supposed to be launched in 2024.

© Jim Chuchu

Jim Chuchu


Jim Chuchu is a filmmaker, musician and visual artist living and working in Nairobi, Kenya. He is the co-founder of The Nest Collective – a multidisciplinary artist collective based in Nairobi. In 2015, Jim Chuchu co-founded HEVA, an East African creative enterprise fund based in Kenya that invests in the creative industries sector in the East African region. His films and artworks have been shown at MoMA, the Toronto, Berlin and Rotterdam film festivals, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, the Guggenheim Bilbao and the Vitra Design Museum, among others. Jim Chuchu is part of the curatorial team of the TALKING OBJECTS LAB.

© Njoki Ngumi

Dr. Njoki Ngumi


Dr. Njoki Ngumi is an author and feminist thinker based in Nairobi. She has worked in the private and public health sectors in Kenya and is now a member of The Nest Collective, as well as the Learning and Development Coordinator for HEVA – Africa's first business fund for creative industries. She is particularly interested in working with youth, women and minorities, public education and socio-economic equality. With The Nest Collective, she was most recently involved in the International Inventories Program. Njoki Ngumi is part of the curatorial team of the TALKING OBJECTS LAB.

Chao Tayiana


Chao Tayiana's work focuses on the application of digital technology to the preservation and dissemination of African cultural heritage. She is the founder of African Digital Heritage (Nairobi) and co-founder of the Open Restitution Africa initiative, as well as the Museum of British Colonialism. Chao Tayiana holds an MSc in International Heritage Visualization from the University of Glasgow/School of Art and worked for the Science Museum Group as a software developer for digital museum exhibits. She was awarded the Google Anita Borg Scholarship for Women in Technology. Chao Tayiana is part of the curatorial team of the TALKING OBJECTS LAB.

© El Hadji Malick Ndiaye

El Hadji Malick Ndiaye

El Hadji Malick Ndiaye is a researcher at Institut Fondamental d’Afrique Noire (IFAN), University Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar and curator of the Théodore Monod Museum, as well as Secretary General of ICOM, Senegal. He was part of the directorial team of Dak'art 2018 and curator of Dak'art 2020. As a theorist and curator, his work focuses on contemporary art, African cultural heritage, global history, and African museum institutions; he teaches art history and African cultural heritage. Ndiaye holds a PhD in art history from Université Rennes II and is a graduate of the National Institute of Heritage in Paris and the National Institute of Art History, Paris. El Hadji Malick Ndiaye is part of the Curatorial Team of TALKING OBJECTS LAB.

Curator Film Programme at UNEXPECTED LESSONS



Nnenna Onuoha

Curator Online Film Program

Nnenna Onuoha is a visual anthropologist and filmmaker whose practice is informed by her Ghanaian-Nigerian heritage as well as her background in history, anthropology, and cinema. Drawing on historical exclusion and the ongoing trivialization of black experience, her research and audiovisual work documents, archives, and reimagines the lives and legacies of Afrodescendant people in West Africa, Europe, and the United States. Her recent exhibition "Cartographies of Care" with Edna Bonhomme at alpha nova & galerie futura in Berlin (2020) explored Black women's and non-binary people's encounters with health care in Berlin, focusing not only on their experiences with medical racism, but also exploring how they find care and healing through community and indigenous practices.
Nnenna Onuoha is the curator of the online film program for UNEXPECTED LESSONS.

Curatorial Team UNEXPECTED LESSONS in Nairobi



© Rosie Olang

Rosie Olang

Rosie Olang is an arts writer, and visual artist based in Nairobi, Kenya. Her current artistic interests explore zines, artist's books and other unconventional book structures as a way to reimagine publishing and explore what new forms are possible when working with poetry, literature and visual arts in tandem. She has written for the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Women's Studio Workshop, Enkare Review and A LongHouse  and works as the programs manager at the Nairobi Contemporary Art Institute.

Kahira Ngige

Kahira Ngige is an urbanist interested in the way design influences cultural production and shapes cities. His writing has appeared in Columbia University's Avery Journal, the New York Review of Architecture, Harvard's Graduate School of Design's UD:ID and the Goethe Institute. In addition, Kahira’s photography work has been exhibited at the Kirkland Gallery in Cambridge, MA. Kahira holds a master’s in urban planning from Harvard University and lives and works in Nairobi, Kenya.

Project Coordinator

© Oliver Mark

Celina Baljeet Basra

Celina Baljeet Basra is an art historian, writer and curator based in Berlin. She has been Program Coordinator at Times Art Center Berlin, Curator of the Berlin art space Galerie im Turm, Assistant Curator at Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, and has worked in the catalogue and mediation team of the 10th Berlin Biennale, amongst others. She graduated in Art History in a Global Context and contributed to a research project on the Interrelated Dynamics of Display and Situation within Aesthetic Reflection (Free University Berlin). Celina is part of the curatorial collective The Department of Love. Celina handles the Project Coordination as well as Website Editing and Social Media of TALKING OBJECTS LAB.